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CV attenuation for wretch machine and tm-3
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erich



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:23 pm    Post subject: CV attenuation for wretch machine and tm-3 Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I just got a suggestion from thermionicjunky (thank you) to use an attenuator to limit the control voltage range from cv/oct to cv/hz. I will do this with a moog voyager and a cp 251. I assume that no harm will be done using a control voltage outside the proper range of the wretch machine and tm 3 while experimenting with the amount of attenuation? Yes, this is probably overly paranoid, but I am new to patchable control voltages, and metasonix stuff seems to be it's own animal anyway. If someone could reassure me I would appreciate it.

Thanks
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thermionicjunky



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You shouldn't be able to cause damage with any normal control voltage level. If your pitch cv is too high , the vco will just stick to it's highest pitch. Attenuation is needed to provide finer resolution ,particularly in the low range.
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thermionicjunky



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Actually , if you're using the cp-251 you can just use the mixer section with no input. Use the offset pot as your controller and use the master pot to attenuate. You could also mix in the lfo and sample and hold.
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erich



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:42 pm    Post subject: vx 351 causes high freq ring to come from wretch machine Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, I know everyone is sick of my posts by now, but I'm having another issue. I patched the keyboard pitch and gate from a moog vx 351 to those cv inputs on the wretch. It works, but I am getting a constant high pitched frequency coming from the wretch machine. It's there when anything is plugged in from the vx351 or the cp251, even when the wretch machine is turned off. Does anyone have any thoughts? Thanks again in advance. (and thanks to thermionicjunky again)
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 2:22 pm    Post subject: Re: vx 351 causes high freq ring to come from wretch machine Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

erich wrote:
Ok, I know everyone is sick of my posts by now, but I'm having another issue. I patched the keyboard pitch and gate from a moog vx 351 to those cv inputs on the wretch. It works, but I am getting a constant high pitched frequency coming from the wretch machine. It's there when anything is plugged in from the vx351 or the cp251, even when the wretch machine is turned off. Does anyone have any thoughts? Thanks again in advance. (and thanks to thermionicjunky again)


Did you figure out this problem? It sounds like you had the filter Q up or something with your filter tuning open. How did you trigger the Wretch?

I've tried a couple of different things using my Moog CV expander and the CP-251 (the mixer is your friend) but I hadn't had the problem you describe except for leaving knobs on the Wretch where they shouldn't be.

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erich



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for asking EdisonRex. The only thing I've figured out is that I'm pretty much screwed. It's not the resonance setting. If I turn the wretch OFF, and have the vx 351 or cp251 hooked to a cv input with the audio out from the wretch plugged up I still hear this high pitched drone. It is the same with a TM2. It is the same with the TM3. Could it have something to do with the wiring of the house or something? I don't know. I have TERRIBLE hum problems out of a lovetone meatball and cheesesource that weren't there when I lived in an apartment. I don't know.

Thank God you decribed the wretch as "cantankerous" I didn't know if I was an idiot, or I had a wretch with some problems. It's probably at least a little of the first still. Do you get almost no sound from the osc through the main out if you have no resonance on the filter?

Also the tm3 I have is behaving a bit funny, it refuses to shut the hell up at any point. It just oscillates away with no regard for my wishes. whether I use midi or control voltages. But that is for another post, I haven't been able to fool with the wretch or the tm3 much I've had them a short time.
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thermionicjunky



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It sounds like your house is haunted. I suspect that your power is extremely dirty. Do you hear the noise using the joystick alone? Turning the resonance all the way down WILL reduce the volume to a whisper. Turning it up very slightly will kick up the volume without causing the filter to oscillate. Bypassing the waveshaper will also cause a significant drop in volume. My trick for defeating this is running the vco outs into a mixer module , then patching that output into one of the audio break-in points. The volume will be more closely matched between the waveshaper in and the filter or vca in. That way you can also bypass the filter without turning down the resonance and minimizing the volume. The signal-to-noise ratio is improved this way.I would be careful with the cp-251 mixer however , because that unit is not designed to handle 10 volt peak-to-peak signals. I would keep the oscillator levels fairly low. Regarding the tm-3 ... keep in mind that it is just an oscillator. There is no vca , therefore no way to gate the signal. You can run it through the tm-2 and apply an envelope to the vca input. It wants a strong signal.I suggest that you take your entire rig to another building and try it there. You may need to rent studio space ... or move.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm. This is one of those times an oscilloscope would come in handy, to see what all is running on your power. If you have a lot of electrical devices with switching power supplies, you could be injecting harmonics back onto the mains. That's a pretty well known effect, but it's usually more prevalent in office buildings than houses.

I use an isolating transformer and mains conditioner in my studio for just that reason. Tripp-Lite, APC, and others are available, you might want to consider it, they're not usually terribly expensive (heck of a lot cheaper than renting studio space) and usually help out with all sorts of extraneous noise issues.

And also, invest in one of those little $5 line testers. You could have miswiring (also not uncommon in houses), an open ground (earth) or worse, neutral to hot reversed. Or ground loops.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

termionicjunky wrote:

My trick for defeating this is running the vco outs into a mixer module , then patching that output into one of the audio break-in points. The volume will be more closely matched between the waveshaper in and the filter or vca in. That way you can also bypass the filter without turning down the resonance and minimizing the volume. The signal-to-noise ratio is improved this way.


That's a good idea. What do you use for a mixer?

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thermionicjunky



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I use the Synthesizers.com mixer module. That company isn't very sexy but it's designed for 10 volt p-p signals. It allows me to mix in the tm-3 as well.I also use the signal processor module to amplify cv's for the VCA inputs of the tm-1 and tm-2. MOTM uses 10-volt signals as well [although their VCA's only output 5 volts]. Some of the Modcan B-series modules can also handle 10 volt signals. I use Modcan and Synthesizers.com modules to compliment my Metasonix system.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

you sound like you did some good research. Thanks for sharing. I was wondering what I was going to do with those extra-hot signals from the Wretch. It's a wee beastie, but i do love it.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If you want to use the cp-251 mixer , I would hook up a voltmeter each VCO output jack and set the VCO level so that it doesn't exceed 6 volts in any waveform or range. You should probably be safe using a mixing desk. That would be particularly convenient if you had a patchbay near the Wretch. That would also make it very easy to integrate external signals by simply moving the faders and only patching the different break in points on the Wretch. I find that it isn't always necessary to have the VCOs up all the way , anyhow. It's much easier to get a clean , controllable response from the filter by not overdriving it. I also enjoy patching the signal straight into the VCA. The thyratron waveform is so unusual , more shark fin than sawtooth [ plus it morphs as the pitch changes ], that it's a very musically useful sound , with or without the waveshaper or filter.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm, I should have got myself a 12 high instead of a 10 high rack case for the Wretch and its support peripherals. The VX-351 and CP-251, and the Kenton, take up the rest of the space. I'm thinking of just picking up a line level rackmount mixer to deal with mixing things around and within the Wretch. There is adequate patchability right now, but when the M5 comes I'll have to work out an ergonomic patch system. Good thing I have lots of spare cable, and cable looms, and Studio Spares is only 3 miles away and they can deliver next day...

I agree, not overdriving the system gets some excellent sounds. Overdriving it gets some excellent sounds too, but there's a lot of range in timbre. I tried your suggestion about patching around the waveshaper. Certainly makes it easier to keep a more constant level. Overdriving the A/D converter in my mixer channel isn't really the kind of clipping I like.

[edit]
Oh, and I don't need a voltmeter, there is an oscilloscope (dual trace) sitting on top of the rack with two 1/4" jacks as probes. It's calibrated.
Wink
[/edit]

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Since you're going for full integration , I would look for a rack mixer with some degree of flexibility. It would be nice to send the M5 oscillators to the Wretch and vice versa. The Wretch's waveshaper also responds very well to the output of a resonant filter. The pulser will sync to the resonant frequency , so you can sweep the self-oscillation independent of the pulser tune control.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thermionicjunky wrote:
Since you're going for full integration , I would look for a rack mixer with some degree of flexibility. It would be nice to send the M5 oscillators to the Wretch and vice versa. The Wretch's waveshaper also responds very well to the output of a resonant filter. The pulser will sync to the resonant frequency , so you can sweep the self-oscillation independent of the pulser tune control.


Yup. I'm thinking about that, and when I get the 2600 out of storage this summer how that'll fit in too. I'll have to make up a shedload of 1/4 to mini patch leads but that's not the worst thing to spend time or money on.

I am having a lot of fun with the waveshaper. The thing I haven't really had time to do yet is to bring signals to it from the other systems (the Poly Evolver might be an interesting source, or the Neuron). There's a lot of variability with the waveshaper if you just don't hit it as hard, or if you do varying levels from the Wretch's VCOs. I notice the pulser doesn't work overdriven at all, it likes the low levels.

But what it is forcing me to do is to really rethink the layout. I had started the process, rethinking the layout, now in a few weeks I probably will need to just take the whole thing down, remove some of the furniture and reassemble it. I have enough main mix channels to do all of this and more, but I need to give the ergonomics a think. Plus I need to really make up a studio CV bus array. I just realised I have another space to throw a rack in here, if I punt out some of the computers I don't use. Spring cleaning time....

I need a good dc coupled multibuss mixer for CV distribution, rack mount. I need to go look in electronotes or something. Idea

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Right , there is a reason that the TS-21 and TM-1 have a VCA in front of the waveshaper. Whenever I see a negative comments about one of these circuits , it's obvious that the user just turns everything to 11 and waits for the synth to play itself. I think Eric finds it amusing , but I become enraged when people blame a machine for their own creative and problem solving deficiencies. It is totally perplexing that people with no understanding of signal flow or gain structure would buy modular or semi-modular synthesizers.
Anyway , rant over , just grateful that some people are capable of putting in the thought and effort required to use these unique devices. Business is good for Metasonix now , but for a number of years it was in jeopardy due to ignorance and anonymous character assassination.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thermionicjunky wrote:
Right , there is a reason that the TS-21 and TM-1 have a VCA in front of the waveshaper. Whenever I see a negative comments about one of these circuits , it's obvious that the user just turns everything to 11 and waits for the synth to play itself. I think Eric finds it amusing , but I become enraged when people blame a machine for their own creative and problem solving deficiencies. It is totally perplexing that people with no understanding of signal flow or gain structure would buy modular or semi-modular synthesizers.
Anyway , rant over , just grateful that some people are capable of putting in the thought and effort required to use these unique devices. Business is good for Metasonix now , but for a number of years it was in jeopardy due to ignorance and anonymous character assassination.


Yeah, well, I'm new to this forum. Maybe trying to share ideas and teach people (I am not religious so I can't proselytize, I am not a missionary or anything. But I do have a stack of "BLOW YOUR DAMN PRESETS OUT YOUR ASS" stickers to figure out what to do something with) but there is some very different sonic value in these instruments, and the telling will be in the music we make, but it's also important to show how. I'm not an "11" kind of person anyway, but I appreciate a good waveform. What a good waveform is, is of course, subjective. But let's keep a discussion here about how we do stuff. The Internet is good at making searchable stuff, and although I know the Wretch is rather expensive for most musicians, maybe the techniques help everyone. And I think that these are very hot boxes.

I do have some strong views on how to work the equipment, but for some reason I am a patient human being. I do believe we hijacked this poor thread, but maybe we can talk some more about useful ways to make these beasties make cool noises, not just the angry noises they are happiest at making, when you turn all the knobs up.

Anyway, thanks for the good comments. I do think that a lot of people will just get frustrated with the "different" behaviour. Chrissakes, it isn't a Virus. It's not even a Voyager. It's closer to, as I said in a post once, a bunch of my dad's function generators I wired together back in about 1972 on his workbench, for which he bitched me out for not putting away all the banana jacks. I'm probably not the target market for s/n 024, but it's here now, and it's something that isn't going to leave soon, if ever.

I could write a whole rant about character assassination. I have no need to here. I just want to talk about how to make the instruments make good noises. I get enough shit in my day job.

Anyway, thanks, this is helping me integrate my Wretch into my studio. I need the help, because nobody I know in real life understands any of it anyway.

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erich



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"I become enraged when people blame a machine for their own creative and problem solving deficiencies. It is totally perplexing that people with no understanding of signal flow or gain structure would buy modular or semi-modular synthesizers."

I am sure that it gets old answering questions from impatient people constantly. But I'd like to remind you that not everyone who will ask you basic questions is some drunk meathead who plugs into a metasonix module and gets mad because he doesn't sound like Drowning Pool (God, they are terrible). I'll tell you why I bought this stuff. It sounds good. I understand signal flow to a large degree, but I don't even really know what gain structure is. I may have learned some of the concepts through fooling with things, but that's how I've had to learn. I just don't think many people are going to quiz themselves on their understanding of these concepts and THEN buy equipment. Most people will hear a sample of a module and think "I'd like to sound like this". And they'll buy it. Not that I'm taking your comment as a personal attack at all, you have been very good about my answering my questions. (I really can't believe I didn't realize that my tm3 needed a VCA, I should have thought of that) But modular stuff is odd for those of us who have only worked with integrated synths before. I just fool with virtual instruments mostly. I for one, am looking into ALOT of audio and music options and info and it gets overwhellming, sometimes I get frustrated and ask a question on a forum quicker than I probably should. (and seriously, metasonix stuff in general and especially this Wretch behave differently than alot of similar equipment) I don't want you to think I'm insulted, and I thank you for your help, but I want you to see where some of us are coming from. I'm trying to learn about all kinds of music and audio stuff. I am warning you I have asked dumb questions in the past, and will probably ask more. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Keep asking. Idea

And did you check your power? I left you another post up before we got into our rants, about how to check your power.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I guess you are talking about the line tester suggestion? Never have had to fool with anything like that before. I'm used to apartments. I have not heeded it yet, I'm up to my ears right now. But I think I will. What if I do find that the house is wired wrong? What can I do? I assume it's not hurting anything, just causing this noise. (Which hurts me a little) I'm no electrician. And I don't think I have an excessive amount of equipment plugged in.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If the house is wired wrong, it is a potentially dangerous situation, actually. Of course that depends on the problem. It could be a simple ground loop, or just a reversed wiring from the distribution board to your socket. And yes, an electrician could easily sort it out, if you find a reputable one.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

First of all , my little diatribe was not at all directed at Erich or anyone seeking advice in this forum. I meant to express my appreciation for those who realize that it is worth the extra effort to use this equipment. My anger is directed at a few unsavory characters trolling internet forums who seem to be on a mission to undermine Metasonix and Eric Barbour. It sounds paranoid , but it is real , and has been going on for several years. I visit other forums to battle idiots. I visit Metasonix forums to give any constructive advice that I can. It is totally forgivable to have questions about modular synthesis. Digital synthesis has distanced the user from fundamental concepts of architecture.

Secondly , try gating the TM-3 by either mixing it with the S-1000 VCOs , patching it alone into the S-1000 , or patching the AR output of the S-1000 into the TM-2.

Finally , I second the notion that you should contact an electrician. I had some hum problems related to all the power supplies in my rack physically injecting hum into the rails , but it sounds like your problem is deeper , especially if it is audible in your effect pedals.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My house hasn't burnt down or anything. (I'll bet you've been worried sick) I got one of those little testers that you just plug in and it has three lights that come on in different combinations depending on what the problem is. It indicated that there is no problem. Whatever the hell that means considering the first one I got didn't work at all and I had to return it for another one. I am kind of at a loss for what to do. If its just a problem that I will have to deal with noise audio I can turn it up with raunchy enough settings and the high pitched drone isn't noticable. (Although I am looking forward to getting to know the subleties of the wretch, and at lower volumes it is a problem. It's a very good point that metasonix stuff tends to be used ALL OUT, ALL THE TIME, which is probably obscuring versitility) I am reluctant to call an electrician right now (I spent most of my disposable income on metasonix stuff over the last few months) but is does suck to be reluctant to use the stuff for fear of messing something up (or getting killed... I not sure what degree of "dangerous situation" you mean... although fear of death is probably a bit melodramatic, but I don't have a girlfriend so maybe I am just compensating) I also need a mixer and might look at Synthesizers.com but was interested in that vector mixer that modcan has. but modcan is so damn expensive, and I am afraid that some of their price is just for the stuff being pretty. Thermonicjunky if you have advice on your philosophy when deciding on modcan vs. synth.com I'd be interested. I'm just not convinced that modcan is worth the extra money except for a few modules that are pretty different from what other companies offer (the vector mixer being one of them) Although Cydustries stuff DOES have me convinced, Cythia seems of offer some very different things ( I have a sawtooth animator coming, even though I dont have money for a power supply yet) Thanks for all the help from both of you. I've learned alot reading your responces to each other as well.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Welcome back.

Would it be too much trouble to post a mp3 of the hum? I know it sounds odd but it might help identify the source of the problem.

Are there any cell towers nearby?

And I'm wondering if you have a bad shield on a cable or something too.

But I can't tell unless I actually hear the sound.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hello again. Modcan has actually discontinued the vector fade module. The parts aren't being made for it anymore. You may want to ask Bruce if he has any of those parts left in stock. He can still make the normal joystick module , and with a few other modules , one could mimick the functions of that module. But I know , it sucks. I was thinking of using one the same way. I was seduced by the CV recorder. It's a great companion for Metasonix because you can build up sequences of very accurately tuned voltages , making the somewhat random tracking of thyratron tubes irrelevant. Overall , the build quality is amazing. Modules are packed with features such as extensive voltage control and bi-polar [+ and -] attenuation of cv's. He's working on a CV delay right now. I want to use that to create cannonic sequences between the s-1000 and tm modules. Modcan offers functionality that I need and cannot obtain in any other way.

Synthesizers.com is a great choice if it meets your needs. I started out with it because I had a need for basic utilitarian functions. Build quality is excellent , the modules produce and handle high voltage levels , prices are very reasonable and they are in stock. You get your modules in a matter of days. There are also many easy modifications that can be done by adding or removing a jumper , or installing a toggle switch. This is the way to go if you want the Moog/east coast thing. Modcan's style is more of an east coast/west coast hybrid. If , however , all you need is a mixer , you may want hang on to your money and use a mixing board.
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